It was the pale, aquamarine water that sparkled in the sun that just about took my breath away. So different than the east coast of Florida, the gulf waters are very unique. A week’s vacation in Naples, Florida became a magical experience for me.

My favorite tree, the Banyan, flourishes there and I had my photo taken under the largest one in the continental United States which can be found at the Edison-Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Thomas Edison planted it in 1925 when it was just four feet and its diameter now reaches over an acre.



Photo Credit:  Jypsee; Banyan Tree at the Edison-Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers, FL

But add to that the day we walked along the shoreline and saw thousands of striking, six legged starfish in the shallow waters as far as we could see and then another day witnessed hundreds of stingrays swimming with their tiny “wings” breaking the surface of the gulf as they swam. We witnessed dozens of Brown Pelicans perched in pine trees along a stretch of beach one afternoon, clacking and barking, as they wrestled for space on a limb.


Photo: Google Free Image, Stingrays in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida


The beaches in that area are known for their incredible shells and I brought home many of them. Nature was at her peak during our visit there and I will never forget the gifts that she bestowed.

shells of days gone by
urchin, sea fan, scallops, conch
swelling waves bring more

Rajani invites us to share about travels for our latest Haibun at dVerse Poets:

I’m also linking this to our guest host for Poetics, Matthew Henningsen’s post today:

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Leave a comment


  1. Wow that is some tree, very majestic ~ I would love to travel back again to Florida and see those starfish and pelicans in the shores Gayle ~ And that haiku is one that resonates with me as I keep my shells of those bygone days in a vase ~


  2. Your peom is a beautiful gift


  3. Oh I love he gulfcoast of Florida.. My aunt lives in Sarasota and it has always felt do magical to visit… The haiku is really a gem here,


  4. Nice visuals in your words. The tree looks like arms and legs reaching.


  5. Always lovely to collect seashells… !!!


  6. Yes, you capture how nature does bestow gifts. The banyan trees seem incredible and are sacred, I think in India. And the seashells on the sea shore are seashells I’m sure! So wonderful to be childlike along the beach. I love to find shells.


  7. Sigh… you make me want to go there 😀
    Beautifully penned.

    Lots of love,


  8. I think this is one of my favorites of yours…the love and reverence of the beauty and amazement of nature – Fort Myers is indeed gorgeous. I visited years ago and fell in love with the place. Banyans are such interesting trees! The rays with their “wings” – birds of the sea and not sea birds. This is a wonderful haibun and the haiku is perfection.


  9. Love the tree! Love this piece. Nicely done. Have to ask my Ft Meyer’s friends if they have enjoyed all you mentioned.


  10. Glenn Buttkus

     /  March 2, 2016

    Agree with Toni, your haiku is killer, and a lovely travel remembrance–The Gulf side of Florida is beautiful, but the Keys call to me.


  11. …so much wonder packed in a short time – I’m overwhelmed imagining it!


  12. Love your description! And that picture! Wonderful haiku


  13. I can smell the sea air. 🙂


  14. Majestic tree. Thank you for sharing.


  15. The first time I saw a Banyan tree, I was completely enthralled. They look like contained forests, don’t they? I love the tone of reverence that dances through your prose. I can hear your enjoyment in every word–it makes me want to close my eyes and take myself there.

    And the haiku offers offers the perfect vision.


  16. Cool adventure, and I LOVE your haiku. It speaks of the past (in the first line), and then the “swelling waves bring more” seems to speak of time yet to come.


  17. That Banyan tree – my stars it’s amazing to behold in a picture, I can only imagine how much more so with my own eyes. Now I must find out. Your closing haiku was perfect for the write.


  18. You shared so many gifts of nature in your prose. The haiku honoured the past and the future. I really enjoyed it.


  19. You and I are so alike, Gayle! I love, love, love Banyon trees and I have fallen in love with the Pacific Ocean. It’s color and attitude are so different from the Atlantic.


  20. Bountiful Nature
    rains iN history
    oF Florida..

    Indians place..
    Panzacola Indians..:)



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